Thursday, June 22

SARDI Kicks Off its Annual Summer Camp

Photos from the first week of Summer Camp at the Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute (SARDI).

Baton Rouge, La.Thirty youth arrived at the Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute (SARDI) on June 5 to begin their first week of summer camp.

Antonio Harris, SARDI’s director, greeted the students, introduced them to the staff and discussed the rules and guidelines of the summer camp.

The students enjoyed their classes which included Mathematics, where they completed work on two digit multiplication and order of operations; Creative Writing, where they completed their daily journals and started on their, “Who am I” posters; Agriculture, where the they learned three different characteristics of fruit and in Science, where they began their project on their favorite scientist.

The camp’s instructors are Alishia Vallien – Mathematics, Heather Bob - Creative Writing, Taranza Arvie – Agriculture and Gina Readore – Science.

SARDI’s staff takes pride in providing safe, fun and educational programs for youth  in rural areas. The staff, along with the campers, are looking forward to the next three weeks of camp.

The Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute is a satellite campus of the SU Ag Center housed in Opelousas, La. It focuses on improving the socioeconomic well-being of citizens in rural communities within a ten-parish region of St. Landry, Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Vermillion Parishes.

The SU Ag Center and College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus.

For additional information about SARDI or to receive information about its programs and services, call 337-943-2410.

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Tuesday, June 20

SU Land-Grant Campus to hold Regional Family and Youth Expos in St. Helena, St. Landry and Madison Parishes

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La.The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus will host three regional family and youth expositions in Greensburg, Opelousas and Tallulah.

The expos, all themed “Cultivating the Next Generation of Ag Leaders,” are part of the Campus’s culminating events for its 2017 youth development program.

Every expo will feature a public speaking and creative writing competition as well as interactive learning activities.

The dates, times and locations of the expos are:

Florida Parishes Family and Youth Expo
The Florida Parishes Family and Youth Expo will be held on Friday, June 30, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. at the St. Helena College and Career Academy, 14340 LA-37, Greensburg, LA 70441.

The expo will feature interactive workshops, live cooking demonstrations, Louisiana Mud Painting, a petting zoo, Ag Got Talent and much more.

For additional information, contact Nicolette Gordon at 225-222-4136 or email nicolette_gordon@sugcenter.com.

Acadiana Family and Youth Expo
The Acadiana Family and Youth Expo will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute (SARDI), 1209 Diesi St., Opelousas, LA 70570.

The expo will feature motivational speakers, cooking demonstrations, workshops on social media safety; bullying; biofuel and gardening, fitness activities, games and a school supply give away.

For additional information, contact Krystle Washington at 337-943-2410 or email krystle_washington@suagcenter.com.

Delta Regional Expo
The Delta Regional Expo will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Tallulah Elementary School, 1100 Johnson Street, Tallulah, LA 71282.

The expo will feature interactive learning activities, demonstrations, and much more.

For additional information, contact Sarah Sims at 318-574-2465 or email sarah_sims@suagcenter.com.

The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus is comprised of the SU Ag Center and the SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

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Prepare for Tropical System Invest 93L | Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Prepare for Tropical System Invest 93L | Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Monday, June 19

Youth Voice, Youth Choice: Ambassadors for Healthy Living

Youth enjoy smoothies at the Land-Grant Campus' tent after the 'Breaking the Barriers" baseball clinic and team exhibits on May 20, 2017.

Baton Rouge, La. On May 20, 2017 several employees of the SU Land-Grant Campus served as volunteers for the Walmart Foundation funded 4-H program “Youth Voice, Youth Choice,” which teaches healthy living practices to under served youth through its Ambassadors for Healthy Living Program.   This year, the campus partnered with Louisiana Youth Sports Network to teach youth about living healthy through diet and exercise. The Land-Grant Campus volunteers registered over 200 youth, ages 9-15 for the Louisiana Youth Baseball program.  Youth also participated in "Breaking the Barriers" baseball clinic and team exhibits.
In addition, youth visited the Land-Grant Campus' tent, where they enjoyed nutritional smoothies, learned about healthy and tobacco free living, and engaged in physical fitness by riding the smoothie maker bicycle.
Kelli Hollins,  Extension Associate/EBR Youth Voice, Youth Choice Agent; Dr. Tiffany Franklin, Project Coordinator; Dr. Marlin Ford, Assistant Professor;  De’Shoin York, Nutrition Program Leader; Zanetta Augustine, Extension Associate;  and Bernice Carter, Community Encourager with the Communities of Color Network (CoC) along with the Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach, Dr.  Dawn Mellion-Patin volunteered during the event.

MANNRS student, Keira Augustine and advisor, Jeremy Hendrix with the Louisiana Department of Ag and Forestry also volunteered and assisted youth with registration and smoothie making.

For more information on Youth Voice, Youth Choice Ambassadors for Healthy Living, contact Kelli Hollins at 225-771-5782 or
kelli_hollins@suagcenter.com.

To volunteer with the Louisiana Youth Sports Network, contact the organization’s Director Leroy Hollins II at 225.308.1147, via email at
TheFuture@LouisianaYouthSportsNetwork.com or visit www.LouisianaYouthSportsNetwork.com.

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Friday, June 16

SU Ag Center to hold CHEF Cooking Camps for Youth Throughout the State


Baton Rouge, La.The Southern University Ag Center, in collaboration with the LSU AgCenter, will sponsor its “Creating Healthy Enjoyable Foods” (C.H.E.F.) youth cooking camp for youth in several parishes throughout the state.

The C.H.E.F. cooking camp is designed to teach youth basic cooking principles and nutrition education based on the USDA’s, “MyPlate” food guidance system and Dietary Guidelines.

Each day, participants will work together to create an entire meal while learning healthy eating and physical activity principles, food preparation, kitchen and food safety, common cooking terms, proper food handling, measuring techniques, critical thinking and team building skills, planning and time management.

The camps will be held in East Baton Rouge, Calcasieu, West Carroll, East Carroll, Caddo, Madison, Lafayette, St. Helena and Jefferson Davis Parishes.

Below are the dates, times and locations of the camps:         
                                                           

West Carroll Parish

The camp will be held June 19 – 23, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., for youth aged 9 – 17 at the Thomas Jason Lingo Community Center, 10284 LA-17 in Oak Grove, La.

Only 25 youth will be accepted for the camp on a first come, first served basis.

Registration for the camp is $10 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form.

To obtain a registration form or for additional information contact Mrs. Carolyn Robinson at 318-428-3571 or via email at carolyn_robinson@suagcenter.com.

Caddo Parish

The camp will be held June 19 – 23, from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., for youth aged 9 – 12 at the Caddo SU/LSU Extension Office, 2408 East 70th Street in Shreveport.

Only 15 participants will be accepted in the camp on a first come, first served basis.

Registration for the camp is $20 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form.

The deadline to register for the camp is June 16.

To obtain a registration form or for additional information, contact Mrs. Patricia Lee at 318-226-6805 or 318-872-0533 and via email at patricia_lee@suagcenter.com.

Calcasieu Parish

The camp will be held June 26 – 29 at the Vinton Recreation Center, 1615 Horridge St. in Vinton, La., from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. for youth aged 9 -13.  Only 25 youth will be accepted for the camp on a first come, first served basis.

The camp is free, but a registration form must be submitted for each child attending the camp. The registration deadline is June 19.    

Contact Carol Sensley at the Lake Charles SU/LSU Extension Office at 337-475-8812 to request an application.

Madison Parish

The camp will be held June 26 – July 1, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., for youth aged 9 – 17, at Madison High School, 1234 Madison High Drive in Tallulah.

Registration for the camp is $25 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form. 

Registration forms can be obtained from the Tallulah SU/LSU Extension Office located on 114 N. Cedar Street.

The deadline to register for the camp is June 16.         
  
For additional information, contact Mrs. Sarah Sims at 318-574-2465 or via e-mail at, sarah_sims@suagcenter.com.

Lafayette Parish

The camp will be held July 10 – 14, from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., for youth aged 9 – 14 at the Lafayette SU/LSU Extension Office, 1010 Lafayette St. Ste. 325.

Only 15 participants will be accepted in the camp on a first come, first served basis. Participants are required to bring a bag lunch and healthy snack each day.

Youth must have an interest in cooking or learning to cook. Behavioral issues will not be tolerated.

Registration for the camp, which is  $25, will be held at the Lafayette Extension Office from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., June 19-23 and June 26-28. Parents can pay the registration fee with cash or check as well as complete their registration form during the registration periods.

For additional information, contact Angell Jordan at 337-291-7090 or via e-mail at, angell_jordan@suagcenter.com.

East Baton Rouge Parish

Camps will be held for youth aged 9 – 11 on July 10 – 14 and youth aged 12 – 15 on July 24 – 28.

Both camps will be held on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus in Pinkie E. Thrift Hall from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Only 12-16 participants will be accepted for each camp. Participants are required to bring a bag lunch and healthy snack each day.

Registration for both camps is $25 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form and mailed to: C.H.E.F., Nutrition Education Program, Southern University Ag Center, P. O. Box 10010, Baton Rouge, LA 70813. Payment must be made in the form of a money order payable to the Southern University Ag Center.

The deadline to apply for both camp sessions is Friday, June 30.

To enroll or for additional information, contact Kiyana Kelly or Marquetta Anderson at 225-389-3055 or via e-mail at, kiyana_kelly@suagcenter.com or marquetta_anderson@suagcenter.com.

East Carroll Parish

The camp will be held July 17 – 21, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., for youth aged 9 – 17 at the SU/LSU East Carroll Parish Extension Office, 502 First Street in Lake Providence. Only 10 youth will be accepted for the camp on a first come, first served basis.

Registration for the camp is $10 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form.

To obtain a registration form or for additional information, contact Mrs. Carolyn Robinson at 318-559-0060 or via email at carolyn_robinson@suagcenter.com.

Jefferson Davis Parish

The camp will be held July 10 – 13 at the Jennings SU/LSU Extension Office, 1006 South Lake Arthur Ave., from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. for youth aged 9 – 13. Only 25 youth will be accepted in the camp on a first come, first served basis.

Registration is $20 and must be accompanied with a completed registration form. The registration deadline is July 3. 

To obtain a registration form or for additional information, contact Sharnet Nixon at 337-824-1773 or email Ms. Nixon at sharnet_nixon@suagcenter.com.

St. Helena Parish

The camp will be held July 17 – 21, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., for youth aged 9 - 15 at the Fifth Ward Multipurpose Center, located off Louisiana Highway 16 between Montpelier and Amite.

Only 20 youth will be accepted for the camp on a first come, first served basis.

The camp is free, but a registration form must be submitted for each child attending the camp. The registration deadline is June 19.    

Volunteers are also welcome.

To register or to volunteer, contact Bianca Plant at 225-222-4136 or via email at bplant@agcenter.lsu.edu.



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Monday, June 12

SU Urban Forestry student Brittany Benjamin awarded BR Garden Club Scholarship

Urban Forestry graduate student Brittany Benjamin and professor of Urban Forestry Dr. Zhu Ning. 

Baton Rouge, La. The Baton Rouge Garden Club has selected Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences student Brittany Benjamin, as the recipient of the 2017 Elaine Humphries Memorial Scholarship.

Benjamin is an Urban Forestry graduate student from New Orleans, La.

The $1,500 scholarship is provided to financially assist worthy students in the fields of horticulture, landscape architecture and urban forestry.

“We are most impressed with all Brittany’s accomplishments,” said Sue Webb, Chair of the Baton Rouge Garden Club’s Scholarship Committee.

The scholarship was presented to Benjamin during the Baton Rouge Garden Club’s Spring Luncheon on May 19. Ms. Webb and the club’s president, Cindy Moran, invited Benjamin and Dr. Zhu Ning, professor of Urban Forestry in SU’s College of Agriculture, to attend the luncheon. After receiving the scholarship, Benjamin spoke to the attendees about the value of her education in urban forestry and her career objectives.

“In past years, the scholarship winners have been students from LSU,” said Dr. Ning, who is Benjamin’s academic adviser and mentor. “I am so proud that Brittany was selected this year for her high quality achievements in course work, research, and international experience,” added Ning.

Brittany currently carries a 4.0 GPA. On April 2, 2017, she competed in the graduate student’s research oral presentation competition at the Association of Research Director’s Symposium in Atlanta, Ga. and won third place.

The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus is comprised of the Southern University Ag Center and the Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

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Tuesday, June 6

SU Land-Grant Campus introduces youth to Agriculture through its BAYOU Program

Dr. Bobby Phills, Chancellor-Dean of the SU Land-Grant Campus, poses for a photo with BAYOU participants after their orientation on June 5, 2017.

Baton Rouge, La. Thirty-eight participants in the Beginning Agricultural Youth Opportunities Unlimited (BAYOU) program arrived from Louisiana, Texas, California and Tennessee on June 5, for a five-week summer experiential learning program with the SU Land-Grant Campus family. During their stay on campus, they will learn how to conduct research with faculty members in Apparel Merchandising, Human Nutrition, Child Development, Plant & Soil Sciences, Animal Science, and Urban Forestry among other activities.

During his welcome address, Dr. Bobby R. Phills, Chancellor-Dean of the SU Land-Grant Campus, emphasized the importance of parents letting their children spread their wings and encouraged the youth to being willing to thrive.

To the parents, “if you will allow us, we will take care of your children, and you will see the difference in five weeks,” said Dr. Phills. And to the students, “you can go as far as you want in life if you let us guide you,” he added.

The calendar of activities for the BAYOU students looks full and exciting with research activities, tours and trips.

The BAYOU program provides an opportunity for high school seniors and incoming college freshman to gain first-hand knowledge about career opportunities in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, Business or the natural sciences.

To qualify, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and have completed 11th grade. The students’ live in the dormitories on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus and are permitted to go home on the weekends.

Students participating in BAYOU are:

Akera Tinson                                      Lashuntae Burrell
Angel Washington                             Lauren Childress
Ashley Henry                                     Makenzie Richard
Asia Smith                                         Mar’Keinzie Rose
August Pitre                                       Nyla Wells
Cassidy Robertson                             Patelon James
Christopher Amos                              Reontaye Davis
Ciarrah Erby                                       Rodney Purdy, Jr.
Elijah Jordan                                      Ronalynn Davis
Elijah Spain                                        Sarah Neal
Elizanae Jackson                                Shonna Smith
Farrin Johnson                                    Shr’Lyric White
Jada Wade                                         Tess Brown
Jewel Williams                                   Trey Coleman
Kaia South                                         Tyrese Chambers
Kaien Jones                                        Vashon Ursin, Jr.
Kristen Taylor                                    Whitney Stroman
Lakentra Thompson                           Winston Lawrence

For additional information about the BAYOU program, contact Allison Johnson at 225-771-3660, 318-572-8338 or via e-mail at allison.johnson@osec.usda.gov.

Click here to view photos from the BAYOU program’s orientation.

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SU Land-Grant Campus steals the spotlight during the annual Southern University System Day at the Capitol

Members of the SU Land-Grant Campus provide samples of hibiscus jelly, chutney, tea, organic pork and information on the campus to legislators and visitors during the Southern University System Day at the Capitol on June.

Baton Rouge, La. Samples of hibiscus jelly, chutney, tea and organic pork were on the must have list for state legislators, their legislative staffers, capitol visitors and members of the SU System during the Southern University System Day at the Capitol on June 5.

The samples were provided by the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus, along with information on the programs and services offered through the SU Ag Center and the College of Agricultural Family and Consumer Sciences.

Every campus in the SU System – the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus, Southern University Baton Rouge, Southern University Law Center, Southern University New Orleans and Southern University Shreveport - as well as the Southern University System Foundation and the Southern University Alumni Federation were represented at the state capitol.

View photos from the event here.

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Friday, June 2

SU Ag Center to host a hands on Cut Flowers Workshop

Event Flyer

Baton Rouge, La.The Southern University Ag Center’s Wisteria Alliance will host a Cut Flowers Hands on Workshop from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 at the SU Ag Center – A. O. Williams Hall.

The workshop will cover the topics of:

·         Cut Flower Selection
·         Cut Flower Business 101
·         Cut Flower Arranging
·         Edible Flowers
·         DIY Marketing
·         Planting and Harvesting Cut Flowers

At the end of the workshop, participants will use the information they learned to make their own fresh bouquet to take home.

The workshop is free and open to the public.

To RSVP for the workshop or for additional information, call 225-771-2242 or email milagro_berhane@suagcenter.com; zanetta_augustine@suagcenter.com; or kelli_hollins@suagcenter.com.

The Wisteria Alliance – Women in Agriculture – Program began in November 2012 with the goal of providing practical, hands on training for women who live on farms, and those whose interest lie in starting a farm, and/or urban and community gardeners.

Although men are welcome, the Wisteria Alliance is committed to creating an atmosphere where women will be comfortable to ask any question in a warm nurturing environment. The program’s workshops and trainings prepare women to own and operate their own farms and other agricultural based businesses.

The Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus is comprised of the Southern University Ag Center and the Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

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Tuesday, May 23

SARDI to Host FREE ACT Prep Workshop for High School Students


Baton Rouge, La.The Southern University Land-Grant Campus’ Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (SARDI) will host a free ACT Prep Workshop for high school students in St. Landry Parish and surrounding areas.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 at SARDI, 1209 Diesi Street, in Opelousas, La.

Students interested in attending the workshop, which will be conducted by Dr. Donya Boyd, should RSVP no later than Wednesday, May 31.

For additional information or to RSVP, contact Chasity Johnson at 337-943-2410 or email her at chasity_johnson@suagcenter.com.

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Friday, May 12

Twenty-six students receive undergraduate and graduate degrees during Spring Commencement

SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Dr. Bobby R. Phills presents Patrice Lazard with her  degree during the Spring Commencement at Southern University. Lazard was the student marshal for the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Baton Rouge, La.The Southern University and A & M College held its Spring 2017 Commencement Exercise on Friday, May 12 in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

Nearly 700 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees during the ceremony. Of that number, 24 students received undergraduate degrees and two students received doctoral degrees from the Land-Grant Campus’ College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

The college’s student marshal, the student with the highest GPA in the college, was Patrice Lazard.
The Opelousas native received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. She also earned the Chancellor’s Scholar Award during Southern University’s Annual Academic Honors Day Awards Program on April 19.

Other students receiving undergraduate degrees included: Rali Bass from Monroe; Bobby Bell from Baton Rouge; Brittany Betts from Baton Rouge; Mamie Brignac from Lake Charles; Chasity Collins from Baton Rouge; Yasmin Dotson from Port Barre; Renetta Glover from Baton Rouge; Jacque Harvey from Franklinton; Ariana Lee from Baker; Ashley Lewis from Dallas, TX; Amber Lundy from Baton Rouge; Shakiyla Manuel from Jennings; Latonya Mcgowan from Utica, MS; Sharnicia Quarles from Sibley; Cynthia Ransom from Baton Rouge; Taylor Semones from Alexandra; Devonte` Smith from Lafayette; Brandi Suel from Donaldsonville; Sarah Thanni from Baton Rouge; Gabrielle Topps from Franklinton; Domonique Truss from Houston, TX; Melanie Williams from Clinton and Britiany Wilson from Baker.

Students receiving doctoral degrees in Urban Forestry were Emma Thomas from Opelousas and Kendric Stewart.

The Southern University Land-Grant Campus comprises of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences.

Photos from Commencement are available here.

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SU Land-Grant Research Associate wins the May "Above and Beyond" Award

L-r: SU System President Ray Belton; SU Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ann Smith; award recipient Curtis Chisley; Vice Chair of the SU board of supervisors Rev. Donald R. Henry; and SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Phills 
Baton Rouge, La - Mr. Curtis Chisley, research associate at the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus received the "Above and Beyond" Award during the May 12, 2017 Southern University Board of Supervisors’ monthly meeting in Baton Rouge.

Chisley was nominated, and recommended “without the slightest hesitation, with the highest professional, and personal regards” by Dr. Calvin Reuben Walker, Chairman of Dept. Agricultural Sciences at SUBR and Vice Chancellor for Research at the SU Ag Center
“I am honored and elated to be recognized for my efforts in helping to move the SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus forward,” said Mr. Chisley. 

A certificate of appreciation from his students was also presented to Chisley at the time of his board recognition.

The SU System President Ray Belton; SU Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ann Smith; Vice Chair of the SU Board of Supervisors Rev. Donald R. Henry; and SU Agricultural Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean Phills offered congratulations to the honoree. 

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Monday, May 8

SU Land-Grant Faculty members join ECOP-ESCOP Health Action Teams in Maryland

The 5 Health Action Team members pose for a group photo
Baton Rouge, La. - Members of the 5 Health Action Teams met in Annapolis, Maryland May 1-2, 2017 in conjunction with the National Health Outreach Conference. The Health Action Teams were highlighted in the ECOP Monday Minute on May 5th, at https://goo.gl/CJix7R. Two nutrition faculty members from the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus served on two of the five teams. Bernestine McGee, Professor of Human Nutrition and Food in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Science, served on the Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Team. Fatemeh Malekian, Professor of Human Nutrition at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center served on the Health Literacy Action Team.

The teams developed a plan of action for their final report as the term of their appointment ends in 2017. They identified professional development from their areas that could contribute to six core competencies for Extension professionals to align with the Cooperative Extension/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnership. The teams were thanked for their service and acknowledged as pioneers of the Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health and Wellness.

At the national level, Cooperative Extension is coordinated by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), the representative leadership and governing body. The Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) is the executive or operating body of the Experiment Station Section. It handles continuing business, organization, and policy issues on behalf of the state agricultural experiment station directors.

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Friday, May 5

SARDI Hosts Successful Small Business Summit

The Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration to host its Acadiana Small Business Summit.

Baton Rouge, La.The Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute (SARDI) kicked off National Small Business Week by hosting its first Acadiana Small Business Summit (ASBS) on Monday, May 1. The event was held from 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Institute’s location on 1209 Diesi Street in Opelousas, La.

More than 40 area small-business owners and interested entrepreneurs attended the various workshops offered during the summit.

SARDI partnered with The U.S. Small Business Administration to host the event, which provided participates with information on everything from writing a business plan to securing governmental contracts. Many participants requested that the summit take place annually due to the breadth of relevant knowledge presented.

Proclamations from both the Mayor of Opelousas, Reginald “Reggie” Tatum and the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, were presented to the organizers of the summit in recognition of National Small Business week.

SARDI has also partnered with SCORE to host monthly small-business meetings to encourage economic development in the Acadiana region. The meetings will begin Thursday, May 18. Tonia Askins, Louisiana District Director of SCORE Louisiana, will mentor small business owners in various areas, from marketing to finance. 

For more information, please contact SARDI at 337-943-2410 or email Krystle_Washington@suagcenter.com.
                                                                   
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Thursday, May 4

SARDI host Federation of Southern Cooperatives Workshop

Producers listen to a speaker during the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Livestock and Health Management Workshop, which was held at SARDI on April 22, 2017.

Baton Rouge, La.The Federation of Southern Cooperatives hold their Livestock and Health Management Workshop at the Sustainable Agriculture Rural Development Institute (SARDI) on Saturday, April 22 in Opelousas, La.

Antonio Harris, director of SARDI, offered greetings to the nearly 35 producers in attendance for the workshop.

The event’s topics of discussion included:        
  
·         Emergency Preparedness and Response
·         On – Farm Biosecurity Issues
·         Traceability of Livestock Diseases
·         Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund Program and Services

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives is a non-profit organization whose mission includes striving toward the development of self-supporting communities with programs that increase income and enhance other opportunities. The cooperative also strives to assist in land retention and development, especially for African Americans, but essentially for all family farmers. 

SARDI is a satellite campus of the SU Ag Center housed in Opelousas, La. The Institute focuses on improving the socioeconomic well-being of citizens in rural communities within a ten-parish region of St. Landry, Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Vermillion Parishes.

The SU Ag Center and College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences together are called the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus.

For additional information about SARDI or to receive information about its programs and services, call 337-943-2410.

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Tuesday, May 2

The Land-Grant Campus’ Nutritionally Yours Program begins ‘Growing Healthy initiative


Provides access to fruit orchards and food


SU Land-Grant Campus Nutrition Educator Kiyana Kelly, Extension Associate Ellen McKnight and Growing Healthy Initiative Coordinator Stephanie Elwood pose with a class from Clinton Elementary School after planting a fruit orchard.

Baton Rouge, La.Spring has sprung and the entire nutrition education staff is in full stride!  Both Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) staff have begun planting fruit orchards in food deserts, across the state of Louisiana.


Our Cooperative Extension model demonstrates the cultivation of organic partnerships with people from public, private and grass roots community organizations through outreach. These partnerships allow us to assess the needs of the community. From parish to parish, fresh food access was the common sentiment shared. In many cases, our clientele had the desire to make healthy food selections, but often times had limited to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Further research using the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Access Research Atlas revealed that the majority of our direct and indirect nutrition education sites were located in urban and rural food deserts.

One of our major partnerships is with public schools. We partner with several schools in the state by providing a series of nutrition education lessons to students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. In keeping with the SU Land-Grant Campus’s mission and our federal nutrition program objectives, we provide this direct and indirect nutrition education using a policy, systems and environmental change (PSE) approach. Policy, systems and environmental change (PSE) approaches seek to go beyond programming and into the systems that create the structures, in which our program clientele live, work and play. The Growing Healthy initiative is doing just that.  At no cost to the schools, our staff provides a series of nutrition education lessons, and the implementation of a vegetable garden or fruit orchard. We provide all materials and trees on the planting day. Based on the growing climate in the region, schools can select from peach, satsuma, fig, pecan, lemon or apple trees. Blackberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes are also available for planting. Once our staff has completed the implementation, the garden or orchard becomes the property of the schools, which provides a continuous supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Plainly speaking, the Growing Healthy initiative is nutrition education in action,” says Stephanie Elwood, Growing Healthy Initiative Coordinator. It utilizes components of permaculture to ensure the production of low maintenance and sustainable fresh fruit and vegetables. Past experiences indicate that campus fruit orchards are an excellent way to increase fresh food access and encourage healthier lifestyle changes among students, faculty and staff. The most recent orchards have been planted at Bastrop High School, Clinton Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary and The Boys and Girl Club of Lafayette. To date 47 fruit trees and 23 bushes have been planted. This initiative is implemented by our Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents, SNAP-Ed, EFNEP Nutrition Educators, and Extension Associates. Currently, we have 25 parcels yielding fruit and vegetables at our direct nutrition education sites. Our goal is to double that number by the end of the 2018 fiscal year. 

For more information about the Land-Grant Campus’s signature nutrition education programs, contact us at 225-771-6236 or email ellen_mcknight@suagcenter.com. 

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